This morning saw the unveiling of a very exciting visitor to Duke of York Square. Children and locals gathered around as press set up around them. Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

First there was some storytelling for the children. An excerpt from Travels to my Elephant which was penned by the late Mark Shand whose charity Elephant Family is the focus for all the Asian elephant love in Chelsea and around London at the moment.Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

You may have already seen the rickshaws around London. Their eye-catching flamboyance, the result of work by designers such as Caroline Herrera and Zandra Rhodes who designed The Capital Hotel’s rickshaw below.
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

These rickshaws will be transporting passengers around London until the end of July after which they will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Elephant Family. After the auction they will be raced across to India. Some of the drivers already confirmed include Susan Sarandon, Yasmin and Amber Le Bon, TRH Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

This morning HRH Duchess of Cornwall arrived to unveil Tara.
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

Here is Tara. Isn’t she lovely?

Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

HRH Duchess of Cornwall also spoke to local school children …
Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

… and stepped into one of the rickshaws herself.

Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

Beside Tara, there is Ella-phant and Maclaren are sponsoring a competition to find a design for this baby elephant, which children can enter by posting their designs into this post box below.Travels to my Elephant: Tara arrives on Duke of York Square

The hashtag for this wonderful campaign is #travelstomyelephant. So if you do visit Tara or if you see one of Elephant Family’s rickshaws around London, please use the hashtag to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephants. Because as the Elephant Family’s website informs us, “over the last 100 years, [the Asian elephant’s] population has plummeted by 90% and if current trends continue, Asian elephants will cease to exist in the wild by 2050′.

Chelsea Girl

I must be one of the last foodies to try Polpo. Talk about being late to the party. I’ve walked past Polpo’s original Soho restaurant so many times, meaning to pop in, but just never got round to doing so.

Now, in a way, I’m glad I waited because it feels like the biggest and best Polpo has arrived in Chelsea. There is still the cosy intimate feeling that is familiar with the Polpo brand, with Chelsea’s inside space. But what differentiates this restaurant from the others is the wide outdoor terrace.

I absolutely love the al fresco vibe on Duke of York Square. It’s wonderfully buzzy in the evenings and during the day you feel like hours could drift by and it wouldn’t matter. So it’s great to see the restaurant scene here being expanded. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

As for the menu, Polpo serves up Venetian small plates which are very satisfying indeed. Polpo means  bàcaro, which is a Venetian word used “to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines”. And for simple food in a humble environment, lunch was more than pretty good.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

The OH and I shared the octopus & fennel carpaccio … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Salt cod crocchette … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

Fritto misto … (which was easily the best I’ve ever had in London). Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

I had a sneaky lunchtime bellini which I enjoyed whilst thinking I really need to come back for a sundowner. Their cocktail list looks very good. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

We also enjoyed the lamb & new season wild garlic meatballs … Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… with some griddled herbed polenta. Recently I’ve started warming to the idea of polenta and I think this dish has won me over as a pasta/rice/potato substitute. Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

For dessert, OH had the Nutella pizzetta … (yum, yum)Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road Chelsea

… and I had the flourless lemon & almond cake, which was very good but I felt I should have ordered a coffee with it.
Polpo Duke of York Square King's Road ChelseaAll in all, Polpo is a winner. And I can imagine on a balmy summer’s day, sitting outside on the terrace, it could almost feel like being back in Italy. Perhaps all you’ll need is the sound of church bells to give you that added al fresco piazza feel.

Chelsea Girl

Recently I’ve been thinking about which direction I wanted to take my blog in. I have learned so much over the years and I wanted my blog to continue exploring what I love the most, be it food, cocktails and all the wonderful culture London has to offer.

But there was something missing and especially given the name of my blog, I’ve realised that I needed to inject some street life into my posts. After all, it makes sense especially if you know me. I love people, I love London and I love photography.

So a few weeks ago, I headed over to Brick Lane – the London capital of street art and street photography to hone my skills.

And here are some of the snapshots I captured. This is just the beginning … 
Brick Lane

Brick Lane


Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Spotted: the fabulous Fins & Trotters duo whose award-winning fish and chips can be found every Saturday at Duke of York Square’s Fine Food Market

Brick Lane

Spotted: The Rib Man

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Brick Lane
Chelsea Girl

 

There’s something about a bank holiday weekend only feeling complete when I stop by Sophie’s Steakhouse for a cocktail.

In this case and perhaps in the light of a wonderfully intense week of Chelsea in Bloom I decided to have the Orange Blossom special, which includes Cognac, Grand Marnier, orange mist and rosemary syrup.

I do love the odd drop of Cognac and I’ve never considered myself a Grand Marnier fan. But this cocktail really nailed it for me. Full of depth and flavour, I really enjoyed it.Sophie's Steakhouse cocktail

Chelsea Girl

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